83°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Derek Stevens reveals Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas — VIDEO

Updated January 10, 2019 - 9:30 pm

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody that the sports book for the Circa Resort & Casino — the newly named integrated resort coming to downtown Las Vegas — will be a prime spot.

Construction is expected to begin next month for the first from-the-ground-up downtown resort in decades. The property’s doors scheduled to open in December 2020. The cost of the project hasn’t been revealed.

The name was disclosed Thursday at the Downtown Las Vegas Event Center after Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman’s State of the City address. FB live embed

For Derek and Greg Stevens, Detroiters who have passionately followed the Tigers, Lions, Pistons and Red Wings for years and own downtown’s D Las Vegas and Golden Gate properties, it was essential that the sports book be a Circa centerpiece.

“I still remember the very first day I walked into the Caesars Palace sports book and I had that wow moment in my mind,” Derek Stevens said when describing his planned three-story Circa book.

“Then, when I walked into the Las Vegas Hilton (now the Westgate) in 1986 and saw their Superbook … another wow moment,” he said. “I think what we’re trying to create that scenario where anyone who’s a sports fan is going to want to come over and check this out.”

Stevens promises to have the biggest sports book in Las Vegas “with the biggest screen in sports book history.” He wants to be able to show every major game being broadcast.

The brothers recently announced a partnership that will give them 10 percent ownership in the Vegas Stats and Information Network, headed by Raiders radio broadcaster and Review-Journal columnist Brent Musberger, and bring an in-house broadcast studio to Circa. That will allow bettors to have in-depth analysis from a roster of experts, including broadcasters, industry professionals and athletes.

But sports isn’t the only thing that will bring dazzle to Circa.

The 1.25 million-square-foot property and its 777-room hotel will be the tallest hotel north of the Strip at around 44 stories. Stevens said the top floor will be at Level 60, but “some floor numbers have been left out.”

The resort is being built on a city block that once housed the Las Vegas Club, Mermaids and Girls of Glitter Gulch topless club, across Main Street from the Plaza.

The property will have the longest outdoor bar on the Fremont Street Experience, five restaurants — he said the names and concepts would be disclosed later — and a two-level casino that will have entries on the street level and through a bridge connecting to a nine-story parking garage across Main Street.

The one restaurant idea Stevens let slip is a plan for a sublevel steakhouse.

Split-level casino

Stevens said a split-level casino is a design challenge for some properties, but he has implemented one at the D Las Vegas, inheriting the design at Fitzgeralds when he and his brother acquired it.

The 1,201-space parking garage, dubbed “Garage Mahal,” will be a special feature in itself, designed specifically with the convenience of ride-hailing drivers and their customer pickups and drop-offs in mind.

The resort will be defined by a design by Steelman Partners, accented by a backlit roofline and a multi-tiered pool amphitheater. The six tiered pools will have a view of a 125-foot high-resolution screen for pool events and sports watch parties using party concepts the brothers learned from holding events at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, which they own.

A memorable photo op is planned near the hotel front desk.

Vegas Vickie, the kicking cowgirl who was once perched high above the Fremont Street Experience, will become a key design feature of the lobby.

Stevens said Circa will be suite-heavy, since most downtown properties don’t have enough suites to meet demand. He also said the room product will be flexible enough to enable guests to choose a single Enova king bed or two queens on demand.

Stevens doesn’t expect to be at a loss for foot traffic at the property. The 18 Fremont St. address is accessible to the Fremont Street Experience, which annually draws 24 million visitors.

He said the Circa name is a nod to the great eras of the past, and the resort will deliver a new experience built on original old-school Vegas hospitality. He hopes to blend modern luxury and cutting-edge technology with service honoring the city’s golden ages — circa 1940, circa 1980 and, now, circa 2020.

McCarthy to build

Tré Builders has been hired as construction manager and McCarthy Building Companies Inc. — the team that is collaborating on construction of the 65,000-seat Las Vegas stadium — is the general contractor.

Stevens said he has been assured by McCarthy that its roster of laborers and subcontractors will be ready to keep the project moving at a time when there are multiple major projects under construction in Southern Nevada.

“I think this is great seeing these big projects coming together, between the Raiders’ stadium, Resorts World and Circa, I think there is so much pent-up demand in this city and there’s so much pent-up demand around the country for people to come back to Las Vegas,” Stevens said. “I think it’s just terrific that we have some great new projects coming to Las Vegas and more reasons for people to come visit us.”

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
How much do Las Vegas casino CEOs make?
Las Vegas gaming CEOs made anywhere between $1 million and $24 million last year, according to company filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. ((Las Vegas Review-Journal)
30-year-old Rio needs a little TLC
Nearly 30 years after the Rio opened, the red and blue jewel that helped catapult Las Vegas to a new level with its buffet and nightclub has lost its status along with its shine.
The latest on the Drew Las Vegas - VIDEO
Eli Segall recounts his tour of the Drew Las Vegas, formerly the Fontainebleau, on the Las Vegas Strip. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pinball Hall of Fame to move near south Strip
Operators of the Pinball Hall of Fame have been approved to build a new, larger arcade near the south edge of the Strip on Las Vegas Boulevard near Russel Road. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
National Hardware Show underway Las Vegas
The National Hardware Show kicked off Tuesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Caesars for sale?
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has been swept up in takeover speculation since the company’s share price tumbled last year amid disappointing earnings and concerns over a recession. Amid the decline, hedge funds scooped up shares. Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn began buying shares of Caesars as early as January. Icahn acquired nearly 18 percent by mid-March. In February Icahn called on the Caesars board to study a sale as a way to boost shareholder value.
Las Vegas home prices
Las Vegas home prices grew fastest among major markets in February for the ninth straight month. But amid affordability concerns, the growth rate has slowed down. Southern Nevada prices in February were up 9.7% from a year earlier, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index. The last time Las Vegas' price growth fell below 10% was in September 2017, S&P Dow Jones Indices reported.
Free Parking Coming To Wynn
Free parking will come to the Wynn and Encore resorts on May 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Founding Venetian employees talk about 20 years at the Strip resort
The Venetian, which opened May 3, 1999, is celebrating 20 years on the Las Vegas Strip. Seven original employees talk about opening the luxury resort and working there for two decades. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Circa aiming for December 2020 opening
The 1.25-million-square-foot property will have 44-stories and 777-rooms. It will also have a separate nine-story, 1,201-space parking garage.
Boxabl official explains the building concept
Boxabl business development manager Galiano Tiramani shows off a room built by his company. (Blake Apgar/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TI/Mirage Tram reopens
The tram that shuttles guests between TI and Mirage reopened this week after being closed for much of 2018.
Las Vegas Convention Center expansion taking shape
Renderings and actual footage show how the Las Vegas Convention Center is evolving.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz at Las Vegas convention
Former Starbucks CEO and potential presidential candidate Howard Schultz spoke at the Epicor Insights user conference at Mandalay Bay Convention Center Wednesday, April 17, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Drew Las Vegas to open in the second quarter of 2022
The 67-story Drew Las Vegas is slated to open in the second quarter of 2022 at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NAB Day 1 (Time Lapse)
NAB kicked off at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Monday, April 8, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
National Association of Broadcasters Show shows 1mm thick 8K TV with 22.2 channel digital sound
Japan’s NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories booth featured a 1mm thick 8K TV system used in conjunction with a 22.2 channel digital sound system at the National Association of Broadcasters Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Nevada shoppers react to Smith’s no longer accepting Visa credit cards
On March 1, Smith’s announced that it would no longer be accepting Visa credit cards at any of its 142 supermarkets, including the 45 in Nevada.
Massachusetts Gaming Commission asks how long Wynn executives knew about misconduct
Business reporter Rick Velotta gives an update on the adjudicatory hearing on the suitability of Wynn Resorts to retain its gaming license in Massachusetts.
Henderson app developer part of Startup in Residence
Henderson based developers of the app On Point Barricade are taking part in Startup in Residence, a North America program dedicated to pairing tech companies with governments. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Sam's Town employees and customers talk of their love for the iconic casino
Longtime Sam's Town employees and customers love each other and love their casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas apartments rents
Las Vegas’ apartment market has accelerated in recent years. Developers are packing the suburbs with projects, landlords are on a buying spree, and tenants have filled buildings.
William Boyd talks about the birth of Sam's Town
On the eve of the 40th anniversary of Sam's Town, William Boyd, executive chairman of Boyd Gaming and son of hotel namesake Sam Boyd, talks about how the casino became one of the first local properties in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
High Roller observation wheel turns five
The world’s tallest observation wheel celebrates it’s fifth year on Sunday, March 31, 2019. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
Escape Room Industry Growing In Las Vegas
Escapology employees discuss the growing escape room industry in the U.S. and Las Vegas. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Impact of parking fees on visiting the Las Vegas Strip
There are no data showing a relationship between Strip resort and parking fees and the number of out-of-state visitors to Las Vegas. But there are data showing a relationship between Strip parking fees and the number of local visitors to the the Strip. ‘’As a local, I find myself picking hotels I visit for dinner or entertainment, based on whether they charge for parking or not,”’ said David Perisset, the owner of Exotics Racing. ‘’It is not a matter of money, more of principle.’’ A 2018 survey by the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance found 36.9 percent of Clark County residents reported avoiding parking at Strip casinos that charge for parking. 29.1 percent reported avoiding using any services from a Strip casino that charges for parking.
MGM's sports betting deals
MGM Resorts International signed a sports betting sponsorship agreement with the NBA in July It was the first professional sports league to have official ties with a legal sports betting house. The deal came just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sports betting in most states. In October, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the NHL. In November, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the MLB. Financial terms of Tuesday’s deal and earlier partnerships have not been announced.
Faraday puts Las Vegas land on the market
Nearly two years after Faraday Future bailed on its North Las Vegas auto factory, the company has put its land up for sale. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
El Cortez owner Kenny Epstein on running the iconic property
Kenny Epstein, owner of the El Cortez Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, talks about Jackie Gaughan mentorship and answers rumors about bodies in the basement at the mob-era casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
LVCVA recommends construction of underground people mover
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced the recommendation for an underground people mover for the convention center. The system would have the potential to expand and connect Downtown and the resort corridor all the way to McCarran. (Michael Quine/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST